The Obama Administration has announced a series of initiatives to address the growing number of data breaches at major retailers. Millions of Americans and thousands of retailers have been the victims of data breaches over the past year, and consumers and legislators alike are increasingly looking for ways to secure sensitive data such as payment card account numbers.
While marketing in the mobile age is often different than marketing in the past, it does not have to be difficult. With more and more consumers reaching to their phones and tablet computers before reaching for a newspaper, companies must adapt their marketing techniques to the changing times. While consumers can shorten their messages by removing letters and substituting characters, however, many companies often do not have that luxury. Our practice focuses on new and relevant guidelines and regulations in the mobile marketing space. The guidance we provide to clients includes information regarding mobile promotions (contests and sweepstakes), mobile advertisements, content that must be included with commercial text messages, and mobile privacy considerations.
FTC Brings First Case Under Federal Negative Option Law
What’s Making News?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently brought its first case under the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA), a 2010 federal law that prohibits online sellers from charging consumers in an Internet transaction unless the seller has clearly disclosed all material terms of the transaction and obtained consumers’ express informed consent.
Yesterday, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler, and two state attorneys general representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia held a press conference to announce a significant enforcement action against AT&T Mobility for unlawfully billing customers for unauthorized third-party charges, also known as “cramming.”
What’s the News?
European Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) — the entities responsible for enforcing the European Union (EU) Data Directive and the EU Cookie Directive — are taking part in what is being referred to as “Cookie Sweep Day.” This “day” will actually last a week, beginning September 15, 2014 and ending on September 19, 2014.
What Made News?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently charged two companies — Fandango, LLC, and Credit Karma, Inc. — with violating the FTC Act by misrepresenting the security of their mobile apps and failing to securely transmit sensitive personal information over the Internet. In order to settle the charges, the companies have agreed to establish comprehensive security programs designed to address security risks during the development of their apps and to undergo independent security assessments every other year for the next 20 years.
A recent state court decision in California could prove a major headache for online retailers that engage in comparative price advertising. Although the decision — People of the State of California v. Overstock.com — is not binding precedent and its future on appeal is far from clear, the decision suggests that retailers may be forced to adopt more rigorous internal standards when engaging in comparative price advertising.
According to the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Google’s co-mingling of the personal identification information (PII) it collects from users across multiple product platforms does not create an injury sufficient to grant standing to sue in federal court. Merely alleging that Google profited off users’ data is not enough. Rather, plaintiffs must allege some specific economic deprivation resulting from the use of the data.
With the proliferation of smart phones and other mobile devices, it has never been easier for brands and marketers to collect data about the habits and desires of their customers. But, as a group of major national retail stores recently discovered, the proliferation of data has also led to a renewed sensitivity to consumer privacy.
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Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.